Monday, July 26

toffee apple cupcakes

Almost all of my co-workers are currently obsessed with 'Eat Me!', a delightful culmination of cookies, cakes and slices courtesy of Cookie Girl, and with very good reason. Not only is the extended title (The Stupendous, Self-raising World of Cupcakes and Bakes According to Cookie Girl) fantastic, but it's so
refreshing to have a baking book with new ideas on cupcake flavours with no pretense or snobbery. One of which is toffee apple cupcakes.

At the age of about 7, I remember my sister and I begging and pleading with my Mum to buy us a toffee apple whilst spotting them in the produce section of the supermarket (umm, what?!). They were one of the few things that Mum, in all her wisdom, denied us during our early childhood-- the list also including nutella and roll-ups. However, I suppose all adults eventually cave into their children, and we must have caught Mum on a good day, because we were finally victorious in getting our toffee apples. I don't really remember actually eating the toffee apple. Perhaps my memories are clouded with the overwhelming joy of getting what I wanted for so long. More likely that it was so dreadfully underwhelming once I had made it through the toffee surface that the consumption simply wasn't memorable. Regardless, there's something wonderful about toffee apples, and toffee apple flavoured things. So in seeing Burch & Perchese's take on a toffee apple, I wanted to try it. Well, a much easier and more simplified version.

Ingredients (makes 12)

(Recipe adapted from 'Eat Me!' and Burch & Perchese)

For cakes:
110 gms unsalted butter, softened
110 gms demerara sugar
2 eggs
170 gm apple, peeled, cored and grated
110 gms self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder, sifted

For caramel:
200gms dulce de leche
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

For toffee apples:
350g caster sugar
50g water
35g liquid glucose
2 granny smith apples, peeled
red food colouring, if you like

Preheat oven to 180C. Place 12 cupcake cases in a 12 capacity cupcake tin.

Cream the butter and the sugar together, bring aware that the mixture won't go as pale and creamy as usual due to the coarse grain of the sugar. Stir in the eggs, followed by the apple. Add the flour and baking powder and mix gently to combine. Divide mixture amongst cases, and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cakes comes out clean. Remove from tin immediately and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the caramel, mix dulce de leche with icing sugar, ensuring there are no lumps of unmixed icing sugar. Pour onto cakes and smooth, if needed.

For the toffee apples, scoop balls from the apples with a 2cm melon-baller and place in a small bowl of water until needed. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place the sugar, food colouring (if using) and water into a heavy-based saucepan and heat gently over medium heat. Use a pastry brush dipped in a bowl of water to brush around the sides of the saucepan, to wash down any crystals on the side of the saucepan. Once the syrup is boiling add the glucose and continue cooking until mixture reaches 165C on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and transfer to a cool, clean pan. Working quite quickly, pat each apple ball dry with paper towel. Using a toothpick, dip each apple ball into the syrup, coating as evenly as possible. Place toffee apples on baking tray to cool.

Top cakes with toffee apple. Be aware that the toffee will dissolve, particularly any surface touching the caramel topping. Because of this, these really are best eaten within half an hour of making to ensure they taste as wonderful as possible... and they really are wonderful! Eating a miniature toffee apple is so satisfying - it's the perfect toffee:apple ratio. The sweet sticky caramel also compliments the slightly tart apple cake.

Recommended baking soundtrack: Electrelane - The Power Out


  1. I love the colours! Carnival extraordinaire.

    Will you make these for my five year old daughter?!

  2. These look superb :) I don't think i've EVER eaten a toffee apple! (maybe I'll have to do something about that...)